NFP or let it be!


#1

Okay, I have a huge decision to make. Yes, I've sought the advice of a priest, but I'm still just not sure which path to take.

I have several chronic physical and mental health issues. All together they leave me somewhat incapable of fulfilling my duties of state. I can do most anything for a short time, but hardly anything mentally or physically demanding over a long period of time. Currently I am able to keep things running fairly smoothly in our household of two adults and two dogs in an apartment. It ain't perfect, but my husband is fine with functionally imperfect! :p :D

Due to these limitations of mind and body it was encouraged by our priest to use NFP and avoiding having children at this time. Thing is when we were TTC we didn't use anything for almost 4.5 years and didn't conceive once. So our infertility has acted as a natural NFP (NNFP :p) all this time.

So should we start using NFP? Or should we just continue letting things be as they have been. Yes, I guess we "risk" conceiving, but God has taken such good care of the situation so far, I don't want to start depending more on us and less on Him. :o

What would you do if you were us? :confused:


#2

I would let it be since not being able to conceive has been so trying for you based on your other posts. I would hate to think you missed an opportunity to conceive since it seems that you want children.


#3

Oh, yes, we truly do want children. Hopefully they can get me healthy enough that we can have or adopt them one day. :slight_smile:


#4

I needed to add this to my post, but the edit button expired. :o

EDIT TO ADD: One more point of contention is we are in a mixed marriage and my DH and I can’t agree on how to raise the children. They will be baptized and raised Catholic, but, my husband wants to take them to his protestant church weekly also. So, any child born to us “risks” being taken to the protestant church. NFP would assure that no child be raised dual faith. :frowning:


#5

Would pregnancy be detrimental to your health? Your priest has already recommended that you use NFP due to whatever is going on with your health. But then, from your previous posts, you've been trying to get pregnant. I'm hoping things haven't changed that much. Only you know what's going on with you. Hoping that you're well enough to have a baby, I'd let it be :) You'll have plenty of time to learn NFP after you have a baby.


#6

PLW,

From knowing you on these forums for a little while, I would tend to think that in your situation I would not use NFP to avoid, but would rely on what you've called "NNFP". I know that each month of not conceiving has been so trying for you, and I can imagine that when the reverse is the case it might be just as taxing for you. If it is something you think you could handle (spiritually, emotionally, psychologically) then I do not see anything wrong with using NFP to avoid. Ultimately, this is only something you can discern.

Would it be harder or easier for your psychological and spiritual health to have the added task of charting and using NFP to avoid? Would it make you feel better about the situation to know that you are in control and "doing your part" to follow what you have discerned is God's will for your family at this time, or would it make you feel worse to have to do it at all? Would you think that if God sent you a child all of a sudden while you were not TTC but not using NFP to avoid that it was a special gift and really meant to be, or would you think that you maybe made a mistake and didn't do the right thing?

Hubby and I are sort of at this point right now ourselves, when we think that God is calling us not to grow our family at this time, even though we know that He has also given us the cross of infertility and we have tried to get pregnant in the recent past. We have chosen to use NFP to avoid for a few months now, just because with my recent treatments I do think that my fertility is getting better and I could actually get pregnant. It's so weird as someone who was just TTC to now be using the same rules in the opposite way, and honestly, knowing my track record of not conceiving even with "optimal" fertility in the past, the incentive to actually abstain during those times just isn't there. DH is the "enforcer" though, so we're doing fine with it. It's just a weird/ironic situation to be in at this point.

In the end, it's all in God's hands, and He does have a plan. We're trying to learn how to pray more to ask Him to guide us through this and to help us read the signs and follow them. It's really hard to figure out how to do when all of what you thought He was saying seems to change. I'm starting to really believe that God puts certain experiences in our paths to teach us lessons; once we learn that lesson--or once we get too comfortable with that particular cross!--it's time for Him to teach us something new that will lead us to Him. I have learned so much in carrying the cross of infertility, and I suspect that you have, too. But at some point I know that I just sort of got comfortable with it...I allowed it to identify me, to be my vocation for longer than God wanted. Now He has different plans, plans that involve the pain of not being able to follow the call to motherhood right now, but in a different and just as uncomfortable way.

Sorry for the long post...I hope something here helped. Our experiences have seemed to mirror one another's in different ways, recently...so your post here about avoiding pregnancy really struck a chord.


#7

I actually think you SHOULD use NFP if you eventually want children. It’s a FABULOUS insight to your fertility health and may actually help you and your doctors diagnose any fertility issues that can be corrected and/or compensated for…


#8

Prolifewife,

At first I wasn’t sure if you should introduce something new that you could obsess about. (And for all I know you HAVE been using NFP to try to conceive.)

But after thinking about it, I agree with Em.

I think you and your husband should start using NFP. But I wouldn’t do so with the strict intention of avoiding (or attempting) pregnancy. I’d look at it as more of an observation tool as to how you AND your husband handle yourselves over the course of three, four, or more months as you have to track your signs.

But your GOAL should not so much avoiding pregnancy as it is to OBSERVE yourselves. You can observe your own physical signs. You can observe how both you and your husband feel and act during the various stages of your cycle. You can observe how you and your husband behave when you are avoiding at various stages of your cycle. (And if you “mess up” it is not a cause for worrying; the situation is simply more data that you can observe.)


#9

Thank you ladies! Unfortunately I already know STM NFP. It didn’t do anything in regards to fertility awareness save that my cycles are fairly regular in spite of the severe pain and heavy bleeding. :shrug: That’s why the GYN pointed to Endo as my likely diagnoses. I just haven’t had the surgery to find out 100%.

Oh and SMHW, yes, the charting is horrible with my OCD. It really is. And it makes the infertility heartache and pain so much worse cause I’m obsessing all month about not being pregnant. So that was another reason I don’t really want to go there again. The other reason is that it made our sexual relationship seem so forced and planned and unnatural. I felt like I was using my husband just to get sperm. It was awful. I focused on a baby instead of him the whole time. :frowning:


#10

[quote="Rach620, post:6, topic:201957"]
PLW,

From knowing you on these forums for a little while, I would tend to think that in your situation I would not use NFP to avoid, but would rely on what you've called "NNFP". I know that each month of not conceiving has been so trying for you, and I can imagine that when the reverse is the case it might be just as taxing for you. If it is something you think you could handle (spiritually, emotionally, psychologically) then I do not see anything wrong with using NFP to avoid. Ultimately, this is only something you can discern.

Would it be harder or easier for your psychological and spiritual health to have the added task of charting and using NFP to avoid? Would it make you feel better about the situation to know that you are in control and "doing your part" to follow what you have discerned is God's will for your family at this time, or would it make you feel worse to have to do it at all? Would you think that if God sent you a child all of a sudden while you were not TTC but not using NFP to avoid that it was a special gift and really meant to be, or would you think that you maybe made a mistake and didn't do the right thing?

Hubby and I are sort of at this point right now ourselves, when we think that God is calling us not to grow our family at this time, even though we know that He has also given us the cross of infertility and we have tried to get pregnant in the recent past. We have chosen to use NFP to avoid for a few months now, just because with my recent treatments I do think that my fertility is getting better and I could actually get pregnant. It's so weird as someone who was just TTC to now be using the same rules in the opposite way, and honestly, knowing my track record of not conceiving even with "optimal" fertility in the past, the incentive to actually abstain during those times just isn't there. DH is the "enforcer" though, so we're doing fine with it. It's just a weird/ironic situation to be in at this point.

In the end, it's all in God's hands, and He does have a plan. We're trying to learn how to pray more to ask Him to guide us through this and to help us read the signs and follow them. It's really hard to figure out how to do when all of what you thought He was saying seems to change. I'm starting to really believe that God puts certain experiences in our paths to teach us lessons; once we learn that lesson--or once we get too comfortable with that particular cross!--it's time for Him to teach us something new that will lead us to Him. I have learned so much in carrying the cross of infertility, and I suspect that you have, too. But at some point I know that I just sort of got comfortable with it...I allowed it to identify me, to be my vocation for longer than God wanted. Now He has different plans, plans that involve the pain of not being able to follow the call to motherhood right now, but in a different and just as uncomfortable way.

Sorry for the long post...I hope something here helped. Our experiences have seemed to mirror one another's in different ways, recently...so your post here about avoiding pregnancy really struck a chord.

[/quote]

Your post is really helpful and does sound like our situation. For 4.5 years all I could think about was getting pregnant. My physical health suffered because I obsessed so much. (**Helpful hint: OCD and infertility don't really mix well! ;) :p :o)

Now we are being asked by a member of Christ's holy priesthood to use NFP to abstain. Due to my severe OCD and the fact that we can't reach an agreement on how to raise our children in the faith that is right in the Church's eyes.

Part of me is like, what the heck. Why should I bother using NFP, we aren't going to conceive anyways. We have a 100% natural infertile track record so far. Then part of me is like, what if our long awaited miracle actually DOES happen. How would I feel bringing that child into a dual faith home situation :( and raising it with my OCD and other health issues besides.:eek:

It's all just making my head spin! Oh Rach, we gotta stick together in this. I don't think this cross was meant to be so very lonely.l :( :console:


#11

Have you considered contacting doctors/teachers associated with the Creighton Model?
fertilitycare.org/

I’ve never used Creighton myself, but I’ve heard those who have fertility issues RAVE about it’s effectiveness through their doctors. I would contact them - at the very least - just to ask if you have other options!!!


#12

No I haven’t learned Creighton. But you are right it does seem to really help people TTC. The “NFP” doctor (Got him off of One More Soul:rolleyes:) that I saw wanted to put me on ABC for my Endo and wanted my DH to masturbate to get a SA. After all that I was kind of done with GYN’s. Every GYN I’ve seen says the same thing, ABC, ABC, ABC. :frowning:

Now, it doesn’t matter really cause I rack up too many medical bills as it is. :o We don’t have the “luxury” of pursuing extensive fertility treatments/surgeries. Not to mention I have already had two surgeries in the past year, I’m quite done thank you very much! :stuck_out_tongue: And I’m not sure my OCD would make it through all the anxiety, waiting and wondering anyways. OCD is so NFHT (not fun happy times.)


#13

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.